In our previous posts about the canal boat bridge built by the Union army in the spring of 1862 (click here), we mentioned that the bridge was swept away by high water on June 4. We are constantly turning up new material, and it so happens that a nice little description of the event came in last week, courtesy of Mark Silo of Loudonville, NY. It’s from the June 9, 1862 letter of Uberto Burnham (76th New York) to his parents (the letter is in the excellent collection of Burnham papers at the New York State Library). As you may recall, part of the 76th was detailed to both guard and live on the canal boat bridge. Apprising his parents of the regiment’s new quarters in town, Burnham wrote:
We did not leave the bridge of canal boats, but the bridge left us…. Tuesday night it commenced raining and by 3 o’clock the next day all the bridges across the river were carried away by the flood. Co. D. went down the river with their bridge, and some of the men did not get back until three days after. A few guns and knapsacks were last, but no men. We shall in a few days be all right again.
Little tidbits like this brighten the day of government work…. Our thanks to Mark Silo for sending this along.